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  • News

    Gun owner or not, Americans agree on many ways to limit gun violence

    Despite a public debate that grows more fractious with every school shooting — from Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., to Parkland, Fla., and the latest deadly attack May 18 in Santa Fe, Texas — Americans actually agree on gun policy to a surprising extent.  

    According to a new survey of more than 2,100 people, majorities of both gun owners and nonowners support 15 potential gun...

    05/21/2018 - 13:23 Psychology, Science & Society
  • For Daily Use

    The CDC advises: Don’t swallow the water in a hotel swimming pool

    It’s vacation season — time for swimming pools, hot tubs and waterparks. But you might want to think twice before getting wet, says a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    From 2000 to 2014, public health officials from 46 states and Puerto Rico reported 493 outbreaks associated with treated recreational water, resulting in more than 27,000 illnesses and...

    05/18/2018 - 07:00 Health, Science & Society
  • News

    Ancient Chinese farmers sowed literal seeds of change in Southeast Asia

    People who moved out of southern China cultivated big changes across ancient Southeast Asia, a new analysis of ancient human DNA finds.

    Chinese rice and millet farmers spread south into a region stretching from Vietnam to Myanmar. There, they mated with local hunter-gatherers in two main pulses, first around 4,000 years ago, and again two millennia later, says a team led by Harvard...

    05/17/2018 - 14:14 Anthropology, Genetics, Archaeology
  • News

    The window for learning a language may stay open surprisingly long

    Language learning isn’t kid stuff anymore. In fact, it never was, a provocative new study concludes.

    A crucial period for learning the rules and structure of a language lasts up to around age 17 or 18, say psychologist Joshua Hartshorne of MIT and colleagues.

    Previous research had suggested that grammar-learning ability flourished in early childhood before hitting a dead end around...

    05/11/2018 - 11:02 Language, Psychology
  • Context

    In honor of his centennial, the Top 10 Feynman quotations

    As Richard Feynman once said, “a man cannot live beyond the grave,” and so surely Feynman could not speak from the grave, either. Except that actually, he did.

    For years after his death in 1988, books appeared with collections of Feynman’s articles, talks and other miscellaneous writings. Together with his two autobiographical books and his famous lectures on physics, those works offer...

    05/11/2018 - 06:00 History of Science
  • News in Brief

    Satellite data backs theory of North Korean nuclear site collapse

    A new analysis of satellite images and seismic waves from North Korea’s nuclear test site support theories that the underground facility has at least partially collapsed.

    Seismologists across the world have been tracking the clandestine nuclear weapons program for years by analyzing vibrations that emanate from explosions at the test site under Mount Mantap (SN: 8/5/17, p. 18). Now,...

    05/10/2018 - 14:00 Earth, Science & Society
  • Context

    A celebration of curiosity for Feynman’s 100th birthday

    Richard Feynman was a curious character.

    He advertised as much in the subtitle of his autobiography, Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character. Everybody knew that, in many respects, Feynman was an oddball.

    But he was curious in every other sense of the word as well. His curiosity about nature, about how the world works, led to a Nobel Prize in physics...

    05/08/2018 - 06:00 History of Science
  • News in Brief

    Butchered rhino bones place hominids in the Philippines 700,000 years ago

    Stone tools strewn among rhinoceros bones indicate that hominids had reached the Philippines by around 709,000 years ago, scientists report online May 2 in Nature.

    Stone Age Homo species who crossed the ocean from mainland Asia to the Philippines — possibly aboard uprooted trees or some kind of watercraft — may also have moved to islands farther south, the team proposes. Evidence of...

    05/02/2018 - 13:00 Anthropology, Archaeology
  • Editor's Note

    Does our latest issue look fat? If so, that’s a good thing

    Subscribers to Science News may note that this special double issue is a lot heftier than the usual magazine, boasting more than 20 pages of advertisements. That’s up from 13 pages in last spring’s expanded issue.

    Indeed, our ace marketing department sold so many ads that we had to include more articles, which, as anyone in print publishing will tell you, is a very nice problem to...

    05/02/2018 - 07:15 Science & Society
  • Feature

    How a backyard pendulum saw sliced into a Bronze Age mystery

    Nicholas Blackwell and his father went to a hardware store about three years ago seeking parts for a mystery device from the past. They carefully selected wood and other materials to assemble a stonecutting pendulum that, if Blackwell is right, resembles contraptions once used to build majestic Bronze Age palaces.

    With no ancient drawings or blueprints of the tool for guidance, the two...

    05/01/2018 - 07:00 Archaeology